My new friend, Joohye “Rachel” Jung, has been telling me all about her native Korean culture. It was fascinating to learn about her family, traditions and cuisine. Of course, one of the first things I asked is what is the one dish that epitomizes the Korean culture? Her answer was Bulgogi (pronounced BULL-GO-GEE) — a popular Korean Barbeque Beef recipe.
One afternoon, I pulled into my driveway after being out all day. I noticed a bag on my front porch. When I opened it, there was a bowl filled with marinating meat and vegetables. Rachel had left me a Bulgogi care package for dinner! All I needed to do was cook it. Her instructions were simple — pan-fry the Bulgogi and serve it over rice. I could do that!
As soon as I put the marinated beef into the pan, this amazing aroma filled my house. I had to fight the urge to take a taste from the pan! Because the beef is very thinly sliced, it cooked up in no time. And that was a very good thing, because I could hardly keep my family out of the kitchen!
Of course when I served it, everyone had to do a thorough inspection before digging in. But, as soon as they took the first bite, they were hooked. I loved the salty-sweetness of the sauce and the beef was so tender that it just about melted in my mouth. It’s no wonder why Bulgogi is so popular in Korea. My 7 year-old even had thirds!
Bulgogi has some ingredients that are unique to Asian cooking – but you shouldn’t have any problem finding them in most supermarkets. I was able to find them easily enough at my local supermarket. Or, if you have a local Asian market, it will be even easier! I included some links in the recipe below so you have an idea of what you’re looking for at the supermarket. However, if you can’t find some of the veggies, you could always leave them out.
Keep in mind that the longer you let this marinate, the better it will be! I’ve made this several times since I first had it and I usually get everything together the night before I’m going to serve it. Then, when it’s time to make dinner, I only have about 10 minutes of hand-on cooking left. How easy is that?!
I highly recommend you give Bulgogi a try! It is THE best stir-fry that I have ever eaten! I’ll bet it would fantastic served in a lettuce wrap too!
Compliments of It’s a Keeper
1 1/2 pounds Ribeye (sliced very thin)
1/4 cup Asian Pear, cut into strips
1/3 cup Diakon (Asian radish), cut into strips
7.5 oz Enoki mushrooms
4 green onions, sliced into thin strips
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp Sesame oil
2 Tbsp Rice wine (Aji-Mirin) – do not confuse with rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the first six ingredients to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the remaining marinade ingredients and whisk together. Pour the marinade over the beef and vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Once meat and vegetables have marinated, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the mixture for about 10 minutes or until the beef is cooked through and the sauce has reduced slightly.
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